Frontier Scout


1h 1m 1938

Brief Synopsis

After fighting in the Civil War, Wild Bill Hickok and Whiney head west to investigate missing cattle herds. There they meet their war buddy Norris who is now in the cattle business. When he is unable to explain the missing herds, Bill goes into action.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Westerner, Wild Bill Hickok
Release Date
Oct 21, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fine Arts Pictures
Distribution Company
Grand National Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,496ft (6 reels)

Synopsis

In 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok, a soldier in the Union Army, is sent by General Ulysses S. Grant on a secret mission behind enemy lines. His two friends, Whiney Roberts and Steve Norris, accompany him part way, but stay behind because Steve is too timid to go on. Bill never reveals that Steve was afraid, making them even closer friends. When the war ends, Steve's sister Mary Ann gives a ball and invites Bill and Whiney. Though bored, Bill is anxious to meet Mary Ann, whose picture he had admired so much that he appropriated it from Steve, and which prevented a bullet from going into his heart. Mary Ann and Bill are smitten with each other, but they part when Steve decides to go West and open a cattle business in Milton, Kansas with his new partner, Mort Bennett. Some time later, the business, which had been doing well, suddenly is on the verge of collapse. Steve and Mort cannot understand why the cattle they buy have not been reaching them. Meanwhile, Bill rides toward Milton to take over the job of sheriff, accompanied by Whiney. They learn that a mysterious outlaw named "One-Shot" has been leading a band of rustlers who are stealing all of Steve's cattle. Bill arrives in Milton, to Steve and Mary Ann's delight, but soon is almost killed by a bullet from an unknown assailant. He and Whiney decide to investigate and are almost captured by Folsom, the second-in-command to One-Shot. Bill escapes, then sees Mary Ann riding near the rustlers' camp. She explains that Steve owns the land. Meanwhile, Steve goes to a nearby cabin, discovers the rustlers, and is shot by a gunman hiding behind a screen. When Bill and Mary Ann arrive, Steve is unconscious. As a doctor attends to Steve, Mort comes to the cabin and tells Bill that Steve has been involved with some unscrupulous characters and that he suspects that the rustlers are working for him. Bill refuses to believe that Steve is guilty. With the help of Mr. Jones, a deaf-mute and the Norris' long-time employee, Bill discovers that Mort is actually One-Shot. Bill then chases Mort on horseback, and after a fistfight, Mort is captured. Steve soon recovers and asks Bill to stay and be his new partner, but orders from the government summon Bill to go to another town. Though he is sorry to leave Steve and Mary Ann, Bill realizes what his duty is and says farewell.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Westerner, Wild Bill Hickok
Release Date
Oct 21, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fine Arts Pictures
Distribution Company
Grand National Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,496ft (6 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a letter, dated October 7, 1938, from Grand National Pictures, contained in the AMPAS library file on the film, the pre-release title of the picture was The Westerner. The picture was also called Wild Bill Hickok before production and was listed as "Untitled" on a Hollywood Reporter production chart on July 30, 1938. Reviews in Variety and Motion Picture Herald listed character names for some actors that differred from on screen credits. Several sources list Frank La Rue in the cast, including a Hollywood Reporter production chart, but the part which is credited to him in Motion Picture Herald, "Doctor," was played by Joseph W. Girard in the film. Variety noted that although George Houston was a well known opera singer on the West Coast, he did not sing in the film. According to a news item in Motion Picture Daily this was to be the first of eight pictures made by Houston for Fine Arts, however, no additional films were made by Houston for the company. Frontier Scout was the second release of the newly re-organized Fine Arts Pictures Corp. under its new agreement with Grand National Pictures. For additional information on the company, for Shadows Over Shanghai. According to modern sources, Jim Thorpe was also in the cast.